fighting spam and scams on the Internet
"419" Scam – Advance Fee / Fake Lottery Scam
The so-called "419" scam is a type of fraud dominated by criminals from Nigeria and other countries in Africa. Victims of the scam are promised a large amount of money, such as a lottery prize, inheritance, money sitting in some bank account, etc.
Victims never receive this non-existent fortune but are tricked into sending their money to the criminals, who remain anonymous. They hide their real identity and location by using fake names and fake postal addresses as well as communicating via anonymous free email accounts and mobile phones.
Keep in mind that scammers DO NOT use their real names when defrauding people.
The criminals either abuse names of real people or companies or invent names or addresses.
Any real people or companies mentioned below have NO CONNECTION to the scammers!
Read more about such scams here or in our 419 FAQ. Use the Scam-O-Matic to verify suspect emails.
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Some comments by the Scam-O-Matic about the following email:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- This email uses a separate reply address that is different from the sender address. Spammers use this to get replies even when the original spam sending accounts have been shut down. Also, sometimes the sender addresses are legitimate looking but fake and only the reply address is actually an email account controlled by the scammers.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "foreign remittance department" (Banks mentioned in 419 scams are always fake (real banks don't communicate using mobile phones or free webmail addresses))
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- This email lists mobile phone numbers. Use of such numbers is typical for scams because they allow criminals to conceal their true location. They can receive calls in an Internet cafe from where they send you emails, while pretending to be in some office.
- This email lists free webmail addresses. Use of such addresses is typical for scams. Lotteries, banks and any but the smallest of companies do not normally use such addresses. Criminals use them to anonymously send and receive email at Internet cafes.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: World Bank Finance Group <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reply-To: World Bank Finance Group <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 20 May 2013 10:34:39 +0100 (GMT+01:00)
Subject: FUND RELEASE ORDER (Us$950,000.00)
>From Desk of: Ms. Gwen Hines
Director, Remittance Dept.
World Bank Group. London
Tel: +44 793 701 7656 , Fax:+ 44- 844-7741-941
FUND RELEASE ORDER (Us$950,000.00)
I am Ms. Gwen Hines, Bill and Exchange Director/Remittance Department, Head of the World Bank Finance Group, London Branch, set up to fight against scam and fraudulent activities worldwide. This Group is responsible for investigating the legitimacy of unpaid contracts, inheritance and lotto winning claims by companies and individuals and direct the paying authorities (banks) worldwide to make immediate payment of verified claims to the beneficiaries without further delay.
This decision to release all legally certified beneficiaries of funds originating from Africa, Europe, Asia and United States of America came up during the recent G-8/G-20 submit and it have been reported by the World Bank Intelligence Monitoring Committee (WBIMC) on financial matters pointing out that so many atrocities being carried out by correspondence banks assigned for payment to release over due payments have not been carrying out their duties conscientiously thereby delaying payments.
You are being legally contacted regarding the release of your long awaited fund. After a detailed review of your file of claims on our data base, the World Bank Group has mandated that your fund should be released immediately. The sum of US$950,000.00 ((NINE HUNDRED AND FIFTY THOUSAND UNITED STATES DOLLARS ONLY)has been approved in your favor via my desk. I therefore wish to inform you that your payment will be duly processed and will be released to you as soon as you respond to this letter reconfirming the needed information as stated below. Because a letter have been filed to the Government that all outstanding payments must be Paid on OR before 30th,of MAY 2013, for AUDITING in order to move to the next category which might leads to recalling of funds back to the Bank Treasury.
Additionally, be informed that the United States Department of Treasury, the United Kingdom Home Office and the British Banker's Association has been working with us in ensuring that your entitled funds is released without any breach of International Laws. Please re-confirm to us the following:
(1) Your Full Name:
(2) Phone, Fax and Mobile Number:
(3) Company Name, Home Address:
(4) Profession, Age and Marital status:
Note that the above fund has been cleared from terrorist or fraud related activities AND IF YOU HAVE IN THE PAST MADE ANY FORM OF PAYMENT FOR THE TRANSFER OF THIS FUNDS, PLEASE DO STATE IT FOR OUR RECORD PURPOSE AS WE HAVE A MANDATE TO REPORT BACK TO THE PRESIDENCY THE PROGRESS OF THIS PAYMENT.
Thanks for Your Cooperation.
Ms. Gwen Hines
( Director Foreign Remittance Department)
World Bank Group. London
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This message may contain confidential and privileged information. If you are not the intended recipient please accept our apologies. Please do not disclose copy or distribute information in this e-mail or take any action in reliance on its contents: to do so is strictly prohibited and may be unlawful. Please inform us that this message has gone astray before deleting it. Thank you for your co-operation.